I have used shrink plastic for so many projects but it works so well for handmade custom Christmas ornaments that I just have to share! First of all, I wanted a little camera at the top. I collect vintage cameras so it was the perfect way to personalize the ornament for me. Here is the one I liked for this project. Then I gathered up 3 of my favorite family photos that were taken throughout this year. I purchased the the inkjet printable shrink plastic from my local craft store.
What You Need:
shrink plastic for inkjet printer- I buy Shrinky Dinks brand
metal jump rings
clear acrylic spray
To begin you have to print your photos onto the plastic. You have to lighten your photos before printing because the shrinking process that happens in the oven condenses the color. If you don’t print them lighter then they will end up too dark.
Once printed, cut our carefully with scissors.
Punch holes in all four corners except for whichever photo is going to be last. The final photo in your sequence only needs holes at the top. They shrink a lot so you will want to use a regular size hole punch to have a hole being enough to get the jump rings and ribbon through.
I do not follow the instructions that come with the Shrinky Dinks because I couldn’t get good results with them. Instead I follow these baking instructions on Instructables. I put a piece of cardstock paper onto my baking pan. Then I place my plastic pieces onto that paper. I sandwich the plastic pieces with another piece of cardstock. This keeps the plastic from curling up during baking.
I bake them at 350 degrees for 4-5 minutes. When taking them out of the oven, slide them off the pan still sandwiched between the papers and place a notebook or book on top to keep them flat while they cool. This is the best way that I have tried to get nice flat results.
When the pieces have cooled take them outside and coat them lightly with clear acrylic spray to seal them and make them water resistant. When they dry you can hook them together using the metal jump rings. I squeeze the rings together with my fingers but you could use some small pliers if you feel the need.
Finally I thread ribbon through the holes in the camera piece and knot the ribbon twice to keep it from slipping back through.
Hang it on your tree to celebrate the past year with your family.
I couldn’t stop making these once I got started! There are a million variations that would be treasured keepsakes for you and your loved ones. Imagine doing a baby’s milestones or an engagement, wedding, then baby set… the possibilities! I made some simple ornaments and they came out looking really great too.